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SheBelieves Cup 2023: what is it and which teams are taking part?

As the selected nations prepare themselves for the latest edition of the competition, we check out where it all began.

As the selected nations prepare themselves for the latest edition of the competition, we check out where it all began.

The 2023 SheBelieves Cup is almost upon us, with fans of the USA, Canada, Japan and Brazil readying themselves for some pre-World Cup insights into how their team’s preparations are going. But there are still lots of people that are unfamiliar with the format, or even the competition’s existence, so let’s have a look.

What is the SheBelieves Cup?

The SheBelieves Cup (yes, the two words are un-spaced!) is an annual women’s soccer tournament hosted by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). The tournament typically features four of the world’s top women’s national teams, with regular appearances from the United States (obviously), England, Brazil, and Japan.

The SheBelieves Cup was first held in 2016 and has been played every year since then, usually in February or March. The tournament aims to promote gender equality in sports and inspire young women to pursue their dreams, both on and off the field.

Each team plays three games in a round-robin format, with the team that earns the most points declared the winner. The tournament has been held at various venues across the United States, including Red Bull Arena, Talen Energy Stadium, and Exploria Stadium. Find out about this year’s venues.

The United States has won the SheBelieves Cup five times (2016, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022), while England and France have each won the tournament once (2019 and 2017, respectively). The tournament has featured some of the world’s best players, including Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Lucy Bronze, and Marta Vieira da Silva.

Last years the United States won again, securing their third straight and fifth overall title. The MVP award went to Catarina Macario and the other teams represented were Iceland (2nd), Czech Republic (3rd) and New Zealand (4th).

Overall, the SheBelieves Cup has become an important event on the women’s soccer calendar, showcasing some of the best teams and players in the world while also empowering young women.

What happens if the teams finish on the same points?

Given that a small tournament with just a few teams has more chance of teams finishing with the same points, a neat way to distinguish each place is crucial. And for this event, it follows a tried and trusted method.

If two or more teams finish with the same number of points at the end of the SheBelieves Cup, the tie-breaking rules are used to determine the winner. The first tie-breaker is the goal difference, which is the difference between the number of goals scored and the number of goals conceded in all matches.

If two or more teams have the same goal difference, the second tie-breaker is the greater number of goals scored in all matches. If the tie still cannot be broken, the head-to-head result is used, and so on. The final tie-breaker is a drawing of lots, which is a random, and somewhat disappointing, selection process used to determine the winner.

A summary of the tie-breakers:

  • Goal difference in all matches
  • Greater number of goals scored in all matches
  • Head-to-head result (if two teams are tied)
  • Goal difference in head-to-head matches (if two teams are tied)
  • Greater number of goals scored in head-to-head matches (if two teams are tied)
  • Fair play points (awarded for good sportsmanship and fair play)
  • Drawing of lots

Join us at AS USA for all the best of the action from the 2023 SheBelieves Cup starting with Japan vs Brazil and the US vs Canada.